Reception Tips and Suggestions


    One of the benefits of having photographed Weddings and Receptions for over 25 years is being able to witness firsthand what makes a successful Reception.  Unfortunately, it seems that very little information is available to the Bride who is looking for helpful Reception Tips and Suggestions in planning the second half of her Big Day.

    If you find you could use a little "coaching", then read on - this post is for you!  Here is a quick list of considerations which we think you'll find useful: 


    1.  Arrive on Time!

     We've all attended Receptions where the Bride and Groom have arrived an hour - or more - late to their Reception.  Most figure the Photographer to be the culprit.  More often than not, the delay can be attributed to something more basic:  A failure to follow a well-defined "game plan" for the day.  Remember, your Food Preparers will be anxious to dazzle you and your guests with their best efforts.  By arriving on time, you'll help ensure that your dinner will be as good as you envisioned.

     Solution:  Subdivide your Wedding Day into subparts, complete with "fudge factors" (built-in vacant time intervals which will help you get back on track, should the inevitable unplanned situation arise).  Your Photographer should be instrumental in designing a Schedule of Photography which will guarantee that you arrive to your Reception within 10 minutes of its designated Start Time making everybody happy.   



               With a well-planned agenda, you should know when you'll arrive at your Reception within 10 minutes!


     2.  Before you enter your Reception, decide when you will be cutting your Cake.

     Frequently, Reception Halls and Caterers will encourage the Bridal Couple to cut their Cake immediately upon their arrival to "get it out of the way".  Perhaps I'm a purist, but the "Cutting of the Cake" (the desert) prior to dinner is woefully nonsequitur and, in my opinion, diminishes the symbolism involved in the event.

     Although I understand there are times when efficiency may trump symbolism, you'll have to decide for yourselves which works best for you.




     3.  Be sure your DJ is capable of doing more than loading a CD tray

     Most Brides assume their DJ (or band) will be acting as a Master of Ceremonies by offering much needed structure throughout the night.  Sadly, more often than not, we've found this is not the case.  Much of the success of your Reception rests in the hands of your DJ, so if at all possible, be sure to see your DJ in action prior to your event to get a feel for his/her abilities. 

     Do you want a DJ who will recede into the background, or would you rather have someone who actively "gets the crowd going"?  It's actually a matter of preference.  Just remember, your Reception spans almost half of your Wedding Day!


     Over the years, we've worked with literally hundreds of DJ's and bands, and the Best of the Best include:

                                                   (also visit:     


  •            Zack's Tunes    (517)  819-0405   

                                                    (also visit:  http//                                            




                                                         Zack's Tunes                                                    Dean Rusch Entertainment


     4.  Throw the Bouquet and Garter early!

     Many inexperienced DJ's place the throwing of the Bouquet and Garter toward the end of the Reception, only to find that a vast majority of possible participants have already left.  Throw the Bouquet and Garter early-on while the level of enthusiasm is highest!




     5.  Avoid the dreaded "Dollar Dance"

     Dollar Dances have fallen out of favor in recent years - and for good reason.  They offer limited participation (two people at a time) and sometimes drag on for up to a half hour, dropping the crowd's energy level, and sending people to the exits.  Just a suggestion, but you may want to nix the Dollar Dance altogether.


If you are looking for more Tips and Suggestions as you plan your Wedding Day, you can find more hints at



                                                           We're here to help make your Wedding an Incredible one!


Until next time,


For more information about Robert Charles Photography,  see us at   or call us directly at  517-394-2192



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Wedding Tips and Suggestions - Part 4

 This is the 4th article in a series of Tips and Suggestions for Brides to help you prepare for your Big Day.  To read more, click


In over 25 years of photographing Weddings, I've met a variety of different Brides. 


Some are very Sanguine, effervescent, and exude an "Energizer Bunny" level of non-stop energy.  Others are more reserved, with a quiter spirit. 


Still others who are very "left-brained" and approach their big day with a meticulous precission, orchestrating and finessing the finest nuanced details in order to create the "perfect" day.  If you find yourself identifying with this third group of Brides, read-on:  This instalment is for you!


If you relish overseeing every aspect of your Wedding Day, because you want to make sure every "t" is crossed and every "i" is dotted, you are in a special class of Brides.  You've probably discussed ad infinitum every possiblity and contingency which may arise - and have back-up plans for your back-up plans.  You've also probably arrived at your first Wedding Photography consultation with a fully tabulated notebook, replete with questions, lists, and pictures you've cut out from your favorite wedding magazines.


If any of this sounds familiar, let me give you a piece of advice which will make your Wedding Day everything you dreamed it would be:  Wedding Tips and Suggestions #14:  On your Wedding Day, Delegate the oversight of the details to a trusted friend.


Why?  On your Wedding Day, you need to "change hats" from that of "Wedding Planner" to that of "Bride".  


Sure, by the end of the day you may have a check mark next to every single item on the Wedding Day Checklist that you've created.  And sure, you may ultimately arrive at the end of the day, with a well-deserved smile of satisfaction, knowing you "pulled-off" the biggest, most complicated day you've ever planned without a hitch.  But, if you do, you will not have enjoyed the day as a Bride! 


Here are few suggestions in bullet point:

  • Hire only Vendors and trusted Professionals to be on your Wedding Day "team"
  • -  Because they are Professionals, loosen the reigns - and allow them to surpass your expectations!
  • -  Delegate - to a trusted friend - the responsibility of making sure everything on your Final Check List will be taken care of
  • -  Find a friend or relative who will be willing to act as "go-for" on your Wedding Day - to run errands when needed, etc
  • -  And here's the most important suggestion of all:  On the morning of  your Wedding Day, shift gears from "Wedding Planner"  to "Bride", knowing that you've done a great  job planning your Wedding!
  • -  Then enjoy - truly enjoy - you Wedding Day! 



                 You've done all the planning ...                               now enjoy your Wedding Day!


We've been helping to plan weddings for over 25 years.  Give us a call!  We're here to help.

Studio:  517-394-2192      or    Direct to Cell:  517-285-3688

Until next time!






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